- (Photo: Screenshot/'The Cross')
Billy Graham is "doing OK, just OK," according to his son, Franklin Graham, who asked for prayers for his ailing father on the weekend, saying he's "ready to go to heaven" whenever that day comes.
Evangelist Graham was hospitalized after his 95th birthday celebration for observation and lung tests last November, and has been very weak since then, Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, told WBTV.
"My father is ready to go to heaven and whenever that day comes, he's ready," quoted Franklin Graham as saying Sunday. "He's worked hard all of his life and faithful to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ his entire life. And so he's ready to go home and I'm praying that the Lord will leave him a little longer. We need him."
"His vitals are good but he just does not have strength," he said, adding, "For those that are watching, my father would appreciate your prayers."
The son added that Graham's weakness has made communication difficult. "He knows when I'm in the room. He recognizes me. He'll say a few words to me, but to be able to carry on a conversation – it's been difficult since Christmas."
He said the family still needs Graham. "He's a great father, been a great friend and just… I enjoy having lunch with him every Sunday. I have my own personal reason for wanting him to stay around a long time.
"He can be this way for many months but he can also get his strength back and that's what I'm praying. It be God's will that he can get his strength back because we still have some work for him to do."
Billy Graham's birthday in November marked the launch of the broadcast of "My Hope America with Billy Graham," a nationwide effort to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The outreach is designed for Christians, whether they be a pastor, ministry leader, or lay person, to invite guests and host a viewing in a chosen venue, possibly even a home.
"We've got some other filming I'd like my father to do later this year, if he'll do it," Graham's son added.
Billy Graham is "not in any immediate danger," a BGEA spokesman said on Dec. 15, 2013. "People keep saying different things, some good and some not so good," Citizen-Times quotes spokesman Mark DeMoss as saying. "But he's about the same. I think everybody's intentions are good. The family members want everybody to pray for Mr. Graham, and I understand that."